After readying ourselves again we begin to descend to the next floor. As we continue down the staircase, we grow ever close to a veil of darkness. Small crystals resembling the one that was lighting up the previous room are growing out of the ceiling above us. It is quite clear where the barrier is this time around.
“Any advice about the next floor Kiel?” I ask as we stop before the barrier
“I’ve never made it very far before, but I’m pretty familiar with the monsters. You can have a look for yourself soon. The staircase continues for a while past the barrier.” Kiel says as he walks into the darkness in front of us
I don’t think I’m going to get used to walking through something so ominous any time soon. Nonetheless we all pass through and continue down the staircase.
“We aren’t going to have to perform any more ‘trials’ are we? I found that odd jester to be incredibly annoying! Don’t bother throwing minions at me if I can’t even eat them!” Kurobe agitatedly ask
Now that I think about it, Kurobe didn’t really join the fight before. I don’t really know how powerful he is aside from what I saw at the goblin camp. I wonder if he is going to be alright down here.
“I’ve heard from others that you have to perform a trial every ten floors, but the first is unique. From now on, in order to continue we would need to defeat a powerful monster. We shouldn’t have to worry about that though, there is no way we are going that deep!” Kiel says looking over his shoulder with a smile so large that his eyes close
He is directing this face at me. Am I imagining things?
“That depends on the strength of the monsters. I don’t really want to leave till I get a good feel of my own strength.” I say in response
His face suddenly turns to a mix of disgust, disappointment, pity, and fear. Was his previous face supposed to be beckoning me to agree with him?
“Give it up lover boy.” Kera says placing her hand on Kiel’s shoulder and giving him a look of pity
As we continue to walk, a dull green light grows closer and closer. Before long we reach the next floor. This floor is incredible; it’s much bigger than the last one we were in. Strange stone formations protrude from the ground. Their shape is similar to that of stalagmites, but they twist around each other oddly to form helices of stone with varying size all throughout the floor. In a strange way they resemble trees. An entire village could quite easily fit in here. Green orbs about the size of a melon protrude from the ground every couple feet, letting off a very faint light. Upon closer inspection, they look like a cut gem.
“What are these things?” I ask as I attempt to pull one from the ground
It’s loose, but I would need to dig them out a bit if I actually wanted to remove it.
“This is a mineral rarely found outside of dungeons. I believe they were called ‘Sol Crystals’. They have a unique ability to store magic, but the lower the grade the more magic leaks out of it. The magic that leaks out does so in the form of light. If you supply it with more magic, usually they will get brighter.” Kera says leaning down and placing her hands on another nearby stone.
After a few moments, the stone begins to emit a light far stronger than the last.
“I only gave it a little magic, so these crystals must be really low in quality.” She says standing again
Magic storing stones? I wonder if I could use them as a sort of bank for MP. I still haven’t found any way to restore magic in the middle of a battle yet and that could become an issue in the future.
“We should collect a few” I say placing my hands on the ground next to one
“Fal-Kei-Tera Earth Manipulation” I call out as the earth begins to recede around the Sol Crystal
It is a bit lumpy on the underside, but nonetheless it looks incredible. I could very well see this being used for jewelry.
“We probably shouldn’t. At least not yet, these are worth little more than a common stone. The better ones are usually found deeper in the dungeon. As the magic power on each floor rises, the surrounding Sol Crystals’ grade increases with it.” Kera says
I suppose farming rocks wouldn’t be a very good start to our first dungeon anyways.
I place the stone I already dug out in my inventory regardless. I might find a use for it later.
I hear a strange squeal from nearby and ready myself for a fight. As I look around I notice that everybody else had done the same. Kurobe on the other hand… has a weird look on his face.
PUKYOOO! Oink oink
I hear the squeal again and turn to the origin of the sound. I can see in the distance a small boar headed out way quickly.
“Tei-Va-T-” I begin to evoke before-
“MINE!” Kurobe says leaping forward suddenly and charging the boar
Stunned by the sudden outburst from our quietest member I simply watch as he single handedly takes the boar down. What happened next… I’ll omit for those who have recently eaten. Turns out Inaba do not have a very graceful method of eating their prey.
“Pah! That hit the spot! That crud the goblins gave us just wasn’t the same as when food is fresh!” Kurobe says as he walks back towards us with a refreshed expression
It’s a jarring look considering the fur around his mouth is still stained in blood.
A small squealing sound can be heard in the far distance again.
“Seems there is still much more to this feast! I’m certainly not one to pass up a good meal!” Kurobe says dashing away
His ‘dignity’ flies out the window when food come into play doesn’t it?
“Do you recognize the monster Kurobe just… defeated?” I ask Kera
I still don’t think I’m perfectly used to seeing such large amounts of blood yet. It’s easier when it’s a slime or a large crustacean.
“Yes it’s called a Borka.” She says
“Anything we could sell on it?” I ask plainly
This world differs from RPG’s in a major way. Monsters don’t have “drops” if you want to profit from slaying them you have to actually take the valuable item from their corpse… I think regardless I’m going to leave any of the ones Kurobe comes across alone.
“Not really. Some places grind up their tusk as a food seasoning, but they can be domesticated so they aren’t really that valuable.” Kera says shrugging
She really does know her monsters doesn’t she? She might be really helpful down here.
“Tell me if anything we come across can be turned into profit.” I say drawing my sword
At first we decided to stick together and take down possible threats, but soon we discover that the monsters on this floor are quite weak. They are stronger physically and in numbers than the goblins, but their methods of fighting are all quite simple. I decide we should split up and search for the exit. The plan is to meet up at the entrance to this floor in roughly an hour.
The monsters on this floor all resemble small woodland creatures, but have red eyes and odd black markings. The “Borka” are boars just large enough for a small child to ride. They have tusk that stick straight out, and they mainly attempt to attack by charging into you with them. The next two I learned the names of from Kera later. The “Banir” are large rabbits about the same size as the Borka. The Banir tend to attack in groups. Their main attack method seems to be kicking. It’s almost comical to see them launch into the air and adjust themselves to kick forward. The last creature the “Gurat” is your simple stereotypical giant rat. They don’t seem to be hostile, but I’ve seen a large number of them on this floor. I imagine you would get into quite a bit of trouble if you were to back them into a corner, or run into a nest of them.
Our travels through this floor weren’t all too interesting honestly. I would occasionally cross paths with one of my companions, and occasionally they would be fighting, but aside from that we cleared this floor with little difficulty.
After I became bored of fighting the monsters on this floor, I summoned a golem to fight for me and returned to the meeting point. While I was fighting, I managed to obtain two skills from using “Status” on monsters.
Even the skills from these monsters aren’t exceptional. I’m beginning to wish I had made the meeting time shorter.